Roxana D. Baltaru is a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Warwick. Prior to this role she has conducted research in the Department of Sociology at the University of Essex. Roxana engages with quantitative analysis in order to tackle questions concerning the relationship between higher education and society. Her most recent work as of 2018, includes an investigation into the organisational implications of universities’ pursuit of inclusion, and an assessment of the role of non-academic professionals in enhancing university performance.
The ability to understand quantitative data and to conduct analysis by using a statistical software is increasingly important in academic research as well as in the job market. This course will provide a gentle introduction to quantitative analysis for social science research and to the statistical software SPSS. The course will cover the following topics:
(a) applications of quantitative analysis for social science research
(b) the use of statistical software in quantitative analysis
(c) data and measurement
(d) descriptive statistics
(e) assessing relationships between social phenomena
(f) simple and multiple regression analysis
(g) introduction to logistic regression
By the end of this course you will have developed confidence to engage with quantitative analysis in your own research and to highlight the ability to conduct quantitative analysis using SPSS as part of your skills. For academic researchers who have previously engaged with different methods e.g. qualitative approaches, this course will open new possibilities of engaging with quantitative data that exist in their fields. For participants who wish to undertake this course in order to enhance their employability, this course will build up skills of engaging with real world data which are transferable to a range of organisational contexts such as survey research, policy research and market research. All participants will have developed a good understanding of SPSS which will enable them to further expand their knowledge of statistical software for social science research.
This is an introductory level course which requires no background in quantitative analysis. On a technical side, participants are expected to have basic numeracy skills e.g. addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, experience of using a computer and basic familiarity with data entry in software such as Excel. On a substantive side, participants are expected to know what is a research question, what are the broader purposes of social science research, and to be able to distinguish between social science data and other types of data.
Representative Background Reading
European Social Survey (2012). Experiences and Expressions of Ageism: Topline Results (UK) from Round 4 on the European Social Survey. ESS Country Specific Topline Results.
Schneider, S. (2011). Measuring Educational Attainment. Survey Question Bank Topic Overview 6. Colchester: University of Essex.
Field, A. (2013) Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics. 4th Edition. Sage Publications: London.
(Other editions of this book are also acceptable)